They’re little, they’re fast, and if you can catch them at the right moment, they’re pretty amazing. No, we’re not talking about your kids—although the description is uncanny—but about those jewels of the bird kingdom, hummingbirds. Celebrate their lightning fast speed and striking colors at the Hummingbird Festival & Nature Celebration, a full day devoted to the small-but-mighty avians. Families will enjoy fun nature activities, including the chance to make a bird feeder, which just might attract the feathered friends to your yard someday. Free. 1-5 p.m. Aug. 19. Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont. (630) 257-2045.
Get ready for the biggest event of the season with a fun science class! At Science of the Chicago Air & Water Show: Airplanes, kids 5-12 can build model gliders and rockets and learn a bit about the forces that make them fly. Plus: pizza. It’s sure to be great preparation for the following weekend, when you can watch the planes perform their jaw-dropping stunts above Lake Michigan. But now the kids can explain the mechanics behind the magic to their science-impaired parents. $40, $36 members. 6:15-9 p.m. Aug. 12. The Laboratory Chicago, 2349 W. North Ave., Chicago. (630) 880-6458.
Is there a kid alive who hasn’t, at some point, been fascinated by fire engines, ambulances and any vehicle that comes equipped with a siren? Head out to the Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show, which is pretty much a dream-come-true for little (and not-so-little) vehicle enthusiasts. The event begins with a 15-mile Lights and Sirens Procession on Friday and ends with an Emergency Vehicle Caravan to downtown Naperville on Sunday, with lots of family fun—including an inflatable fire truck slide, water games, fire truck rides and public safety displays—in between. Free. Aug. 4-6. Main Street and U.S. 34, Oswego.